Top Fueler Massey Will Return To DSR For 2013
Don Schumacher announced today that Spencer Massey will rejoin Don Schumacher Racing for the 2013 NHRA Top Fuel season.
In addition to reigning world champion Antron Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel team and Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army team, which finished seven points behind Brown last season, the third team – Massey’s – will be led by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler when the season begins Feb. 14-17 with the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.
Massey’s dragster, which finished the past season ranked third in points with four event titles, will carry the banner of Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher.
The status of DSR’s third-ranked team from last year was left in limbo for 2013 when longtime NHRA and DSR sponsor FRAM/Prestone opted last summer to not continue motorsports sponsorships upon the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Also, reports surrounding an incident involving Massey at the NHRA’s post season banquet, were believed to have contributed to the dismissal of Massey.
“I committed last summer to running this team in 2013 after Honeywell sold the FRAM/Prestone business to an investor and the decision of the new owner was to eliminate motorsports sponsorship,” Schumacher said. “I committed to run that car in 2013, and will do what I committed to doing. And I want to keep that team together because it has contended for the championship down to the last two races the past two years”
Schumacher said Schumacher Electric will fully fund the Don Schumacher Racing team while he continues to search for another major sponsor.
“Were we not to field that team it also would have cost about 10 guys their jobs, and I didn’t want that to happen,” said Schumacher, whose teams have won 11 NHRA world championships and 196 NHRA event titles.
Although the team did not join the other six DSR teams at the Florida test sessions last month, Okuhara and Shuler tested the dragster last December and it proved to be in midseason form with a best run of 3.75 seconds at 325 mph.
Massey, 30, will compete in his fourth full-time professional season and third straight with DSR.
Also this week, DSR announced that veteran crew chief Dickie Venables has been hired as crew chief for 2011 NHRA Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan and the Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T team. Okuhara will assist Venables as he transitions to the team.No Comment